Olipop toyshop - Sharing our journey

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Sharing and learning, from our journey

by Bianka Wasserman

If you had asked me a couple of years ago, if I would be on television sharing personal information about our family, I would have laughed at you. Told you, you had the wrong person, but here we are.

Last night, Kwêla, an Afrikaans TV show in South Africa, aired an interview with us. We, my husband, Daniel and I shared a bit about our journey with Oliver and I got to share about how that led to the creation of Olipop Toyshop. We also had the privilege of having Oli’s speech therapist, audiologist and Ouma (grandmother) join us and say a few words.

I had no idea what the impact would be of doing this interview. On us, on family and friends, extended as well as immediate. Other parents of children that are deaf or hard of hearing or perhaps even another type of diagnosis. Professionals working within the field of hearing loss. Complete strangers that took the time to just send a message, email or Whatsapp and thank us for sharing our story.

It’s brought back a lot of emotions from the initial diagnosis, but also made us realize how far we have come. Hearing about Oli’s initial hearing loss as Daniel put it, “we were devastated.” We were also so ignorant and naive as we didn’t know anything about hearing loss. We didn’t know about the varying degrees of loss, the modes of communication, the hearing technologies available, the Deaf culture, nothing. Almost four years later, we don’t claim to know everything but we know our story and journey that we have walked. It has become rather apparent that there needs to be more awareness on hearing loss not just for other parents and families experiencing this BUT for all.